- Madhya Pradesh decided to go open defecation free by October 2, 2018
- In Madhya Pradesh, 72% of the population resides in rural areas
- 22.34 lakh toilets constructed in the state in 2017-2018: Minister Gopal
New Delhi: Madhya Pradesh, a second largest state in the country by area has bent over backwards to declare itself free from the age old practice of open defecation. Urban Madhya Pradesh was declared open defecation free (ODF) on October 2, 2017, but rural sector had a long way and decided to go ODF by October 2, 2019. But, now, as every state is racing towards ODF and ODF plus tag, Madhya Pradesh too seems to be concerned about it. Pulling up the socks, the government on Wednesday told the Legislative assembly that it has decided to go ODF this year only and need funds for that.
Around 72 per cent of the population resides in rural areas, so the burden is more on Swachh Bharat Mission-Gramin (SBM-G). We have divided the entire process in different phases. Initially, our focus is behavioural change and once that is done, we build toilets. The process is a bit slow, but we will achieve our target, says Dr Atul Srivastav, State Programme Officer, SBM-G.
Since the launch of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014, the rural sector has been lagging behind and it is evident from the fact that its first district, Indore, was declared free from the practice of open defecation only in 2016.
Now, the rural sector seem to determined towards achieving the ODF target and confirming that Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Gopal Bhargava said,
We want to make Madhya Pradesh open defecation free by October 2 this year.
Minister Gopal who was debating in the legislative Assembly for the allocation of budget to his departments shared the data. He said a total of 22.34 lakh toilets were constructed in the state in Financial Year 2017-2018 and 23,597 villages in the state have become ODF.
The house cleared the budgetary allocation of over Rs. 36,000 crore for all the four departments being held by Minister Gopal.
Current Status Of Rural Madhya Pradesh
As per the data available on the government portal, as of now, 8,578 gram panchayat, 64 blocks, 13 districts have been declared ODF. A total of 53,36,117 individual household toilets have been constructed in the rural area of the state.
The overall sanitation coverage of Madhya Pradesh has increased from 31.79 per cent in 2014 to 89.49 per cent.
With inputs from PTI